Sunday, 11 January 2009

No cobwebs

On Friday the weather forecast for the weekend promised a cold saturday and a windy Sunday. I wanted to fit in a long weekend ride, but chosing the day was a bit of a dilemma, until Saturday morning, when I realised just how cold it was, and decided that the wind on Sunday would be preferable.

So I messed around on Saturday, and this morning, fortified by buttered crumpets I set off to visit a couple of the churches on my list for this year. The route out involved the long climb up to Lane End, and Stokenchurch. With the wind behind me, and the sun just about breaking through, I was confident that I had chosen the best option.

Wheatfield, Saint Andrew

I visited Saint Andrew at Wheatfield first, which frankly was a bit of a disappointment. Sitting in the middle of a field, it isn't used in the winter, and was locked, and well protected by a barbed wire fence. So I can't comment on the interior, but the exterior didn't seem very interesting either.

All Saints, Little Kimble
By now the temperature was falling, and the wind rising, but sticking to the plan, I set off to visit All Saints at Little Kimble. From the outside this doesn't look like a very impressive church, either, but the interior is lovely. It is famous for the 14th century wall paintings, which include St George, St James, St Christopher and St Francis preaching to the birds. I'm not sure who it is in the picture above, but it looks as though it might be St Francis. Unfortunately, I missed the 13th century floor tiles, because I forgot to look out for them.

By now the wind was picking up, and time was getting on. I abandoned my plan to plot some of the roads in the area that seem to be missing from Open Street Map, and headed straight for home along the A4010 towards High Wycombe. Because of the strong headwind, it took me more than an hour to cover less than ten miles, even though it was mostly downhill. By then, I was wondering if chosing wind over cold had been the right decision, but at least it was blowing the cobwebs away.

The route home from High Wycombe was more sheltered, and I made better progress. By the time I got home, I had covered 57 miles, but it felt like a lot more.

In today's Observer, I see that Nicole Cooke tells cyclists not to overdo it. "if it stops giving you that sense of achievement and fun, then you need to take a look at your approach". Well, I reckon today ticked the sense of achievement box, but I'm not so sure about the fun box.

1 comment:

disgruntled said...

Damn. I knew my advantage would be shortlived. Of course we had windy AND cold all weekend with fog to boot...